Throughout the years, Sturgis Center for the Arts has seen numerous talented instructors, dedicated students, and enthusiastic directors and staff members walk through its doors. It's a combination of these individuals and the selflessness of our community that make us what we are today.
Back in 2004, there wasn't a lot of variety in the music and art education opportunities in Sturgis, or any one organization to combine them all under a single roof. Founders Rick and Michelle Grosek chose to create something that did not yet exist from this need rather than take their business elsewhere. Their vision, combined with the expertise and guidance of the founding Board, set the stage for Sturgis Center for the Arts. The original location was the old bank building at 1st and Main in Sturgis, brimming with historic character, new ideas, and energy. Michelle was appointed the very first Director, with Rick as the President of the Board.
THE EARLY YEARS
SCA's early years were critical in assessing what the community really needed in terms of the arts, as well as what it could support and sustain. This period of time resulted in a boom in individual music lessons, art classes, and a few special events and recurring activities. These included weekly Jam Sessions, Open House events, Songwriters' Invitationals, and activities in conjunction with the town's holiday and cultural celebrations. Sturgis Center for the Arts was careful in ensuring that profit on lessons, merchandise, and events was reinvested into the organization rather than funding salaries and overhead costs.
After SCA had acquired a good foothold in the community, it was time to expand programs and events to fulfill a larger vision for the organization. The annual BAM (Bikes, Art, and Music) Festival took shape, as well as the popular annual Star Search competition to showcase talent that had been developing through SCA's programs throughout the first few years. To support these and other events, Sturgis Center for the Arts began working with other community pillar organizations and companies to put on unique fundraisers and provide more opportunities for its students to develop and present their skills. A thrift store was formed to benefit SCA, and multiple state- and nation-wide grants assisted the expansion efforts.
A NEW DIRECTION
In 2010 it was decided that Sturgis Center for the Arts was due for a new managing team to give Rick and Michelle a chance to pursue other goals in life, and also to give the organization a fresh outlook and new ideas going forward. The subsequent few years included two location shifts, four changes in Directors, and an amount of uncertainty regarding the future of the organization. Now in its twelfth year, SCA has grown and changed shape in response to each of the Directors and their unique influence. The organization is looking forward to further expansion in upcoming years thanks to a new facility ideal for providing lessons and art classes, in addition to the current staff and Board Members. The nonprofit is now led by the second generation of thinkers and doers; those that were once pupils are now sharing their knowledge and fueling the bright future of Sturgis Center for the Arts.